John Rockefeller

John Rockefeller.

John Rockefeller (1839 - 1937) was a North American businessman and petroleum magnate. Born in New York province to a struggling family, as he grew up Rockefeller proved to have a knack for clerical work and business. The rising price of whale oil led the North American chemical engineer Edgar Van Dant to investigate the use of petroleum distillates as a substitute. Van Dant's research allowed him to expand the uses of petroleum products beyond kerosene to included vulcazine, lubricating oil, petroleum jelly, paraffin wax, and other products. In 1870 Rockefeller financed Van Dant's Pennsylvania Petroleum Corporation, at the time the largest petroleum company in the C.N.A. Rockefeller soon began working to expand his control of the petroleum market. The formation of Petroleum of Mexico by the Mexican businessman Monte Benedict in 1874 led Rockefeller to create a similar petroleum consortium in the C.N.A. called Consolidated Petroleum of North America the following year. By 1880, Consolidated Petroleum controlled over ninety percent of the country's petroleum supply.